The Water Polo community across Australia is today mourning the loss of former Australian junior women’s water polo coach, Bruce Falson.
A pioneer in shaping women’s water polo pathway program, Bruce was a Cronulla Club stalwart along with New South Wales and Australian Coach.
Water Polo Australia President, Thomas Whalan, paid tribute to Bruce acknowledging the significant contribution he had made to the sport.
“Today we have lost a real pioneer of Australian water polo in Bruce Falson and our thoughts are with his family, friends and all who knew him.
“Bruce’s legacy is one that we still see today in our junior women’s programs and one we know will be experienced for a long time to come.
“His dedication to the sport at all levels – club, state and national – benefited so many athletes, many who went on to represent Australia at the Olympic Games.
“His record in developing the players as well as achieving wide scale success on the international stage was remarkable and he will be sorely missed by so many,” said Whalan.
After stepping down from the national role in 2009, Bruce shared his most memorable moments from his national coaching career including:
- Winning the World Championships by five goals, 8-3 over Canada in 1999, with Kelly Heuchan scoring five goals.
- Watching five members from the juniors program — Taryn Woods, Gail Miller, Yvette Higgins, Jo Fox and Kate Hooper — win Olympic Gold in Sydney in 2000.
- Travelling with the senior team to the Holiday Cup in LA in December 2006. All 15 in the team had played in the junior team between 1997 and 2006 and all 15 had won a world junior medal and/or won an International tournament.
Teams that Bruce coached during his time heading up the national junior women’s water polo program:
AUSTRALIAN JUNIOR WOMEN’S TEAMS
- 1995 QUEBEC CANADA – Silver
- 1997 PRAGUE CZECH REPUBLIC – Silver
- 1999 MESSINA ITALY – Gold
- 2001 PERTH AUSTRALIA – Silver
- 2003 CALGARY CANADA – 6th
- 2005 PERTH AUSTRALIA – Bronze
- 2007 PORTO PORTUGAL – Gold
UNDER 20 TOURING TEAMS
- 1998 – 1st ANZIO ITALY
- 2000 – 1st ITEA GREECE
- 2002 – EUROPEAN TOUR
- 2003 – 1st ALOHA TOURNAMENT HAWAII
- 2004 – 1st OSTIA ITALY
- 2005 1st MADRID SPAIN
- 2006 1st ATHENS GREECE
Funeral details: Wednesday 1 August, 12noon, Woronora Sth Chapel. Drinks will be held post service at Cronulla RSL.